Tag: featured

Hard to say goodbye . . .

Knowing when to leave may be the smartest thing anyone can learn.  –Burt Bacharach

                Gaddy’s Feed will be closing before the end of this year.  It has not been an easy decision for us, but it is a good one.  We feel we are leaving the store and our community on a good note.  After a couple of years of hard work and many changes to the store, our numbers are up, we enjoy what we do, but our efforts just cannot outpace the increases we have seen in property taxes and other operating expenses.  In the past we have modified our business to change as our community changed around us.  The current development codes under which we operate restrict us from being able to change our business utilizing the limited budget on which our small family business operates.  We also understand those same codes help create a community desirable to new growth.  We are encouraged to see the growth in Pflugerville and are excited to think of all the possibilities out there for the new owner of 403 FM 685.  I am sure the property will be developed in a way to fit the needs of our community.

                We especially want to thank each and every one of you who has come through our doors over the last 45 years and supported our business.  You made is possible for us serve our community.  Mark and I also want to thank Rodney Vander Laan for helping us run the business.  Rodney has been at Gaddy’s for almost 20 years and does more before 9am than I sometimes do all day.  We want to thank Jen, Dathan and Zaki too for sticking in out with us.  It’s not always easy to work for a family business.  Their hard work and fun attitude make coming to work fun.  We are all going to be sad to shut the gate for the last time, but we all have other pursuits we are eager to explore.  Frank is staying busy running cattle and going fishing, Mark’s thinking about getting into real estate when he’s not fishing with his dad, and I am going back to nursing.  Running a small business often leaves little time to spend with family.  We are hoping to catch-up on a lot of missed family time in the next few years. 

                We hope you stop by the store before the end of the year to say goodbye.  As of today, we are putting everything BESIDES firewood, livestock feed, wild bird feed, and pet feed on sale for 20% off.  We also have store fixtures, shelving, and lots of odds and ends for sale. 

Texas Tee and 5 Tips for a Green Organic Lawn

Mark and I were as surprised as everybody else when we found out Ladybug garden products was going out of business.  Ladybug has been our go-to organic fertilizer and compost for many years.  For the first time in ages we found ourselves researching other products and trying to source organic soils, composts and fertilizers and I think we found some great new products.

We like to shop local.  One of the new lawn fertilizers Mark found was from Texas company, Maestro Gro.  These folks, from Joshua, TX,  have been making organic fertilizer since 1987.  They produce Rabbit Hill Farms fertilizers, Garrett Juice and our new lawn fertilizer, Texas Tee.

texas tee

We tried the Texas Tee out on our own back yard last week.  We get so busy during the springtime, our own yard work often gets pushed back until early summer, so this was the first fertilizer application of the year.  The dry weather combined with our frugal lawn watering regimen has left our yard a little stressed as well.  Add in the fact that our little dogs are often in the back yard, and organic fertilizer is really the only choice for our back yard at this time.

Organic fertilizers do tend to be a little more expensive than their chemical counterparts.  It’s because of the ingredients.  You do get what you pay for.  Texas Tee is made of feather meal, alfalfa meal, composted chicken litter, molasses, potash and humates.  These ingredients are blended in a formula that products a 6-2-4 ratio of nitrogen (greens the lawn), phosphorus (helps the roots) and potassium (overall plant health).  It’s worth it to pay for these ingredients because you get a slow release fertilizer that feeds your soil, the beneficial microbes that live in your soil, as well as your grass.

I filmed Mark explaining how to use the Texas Tee on your yard and posted it on our new youtube channel.  You can watch it here.  (Please subscribe and all that stuff . . . )

And now for my five tips for a healthy organic lawn:

  1.  Use an organic fertilizer.
  2. Cut your lawn to the recommended height (and NO shorter).  St. Augustine should be cut at 3 1/2 inches.  Bermuda should be cut to 2 to 2 1/2 inches.  NEVER remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time.
  3. Don’t bag your lawn clippings.  Leave the clippings on the grass.  They can help nourish your soil as they decompose.  You can use a mulching blade on your mower to help out the process.  (Caveat:  If you have lots of weed heads that you’re mowing off, you may want to bag these clippings.  To help lessen weed pressure, mow your weeds more frequently before they go to seed.)
  4. Add 1/4 inch of good quality compost to your yard every year in the spring or early summer.  This is the most loving thing you can do for your soil and grass.  It is a lot of work, so don’t skimp on the quality of the compost–make it count!
  5. Water conservatively, in the morning, only on your water days.  Around here you can water twice a week.  Some lawns can get by just fine on 1 inch of water once a week.  My best tip for watering anything in Texas is:  water in just a short, shallow, burst first and let it soak in, then go back and complete your watering.  Think of your yard like a dry dish sponge.  If you run the water real heavy on the dry sponge, most of it will run off.  It’s not until the sponge soaks in that first bit of water that it’s able to retain any fluid.

After years of gardening in Central Texas I have decided it’s not a bad thing to tolerate some weeds and a few bugs.  There are certain things just not worth fighting.  But, if you keep your yard and soil healthy, you really will have less weed and disease pressure and have more time in your gardening routine to enjoy your yard.

 

U-Haul at Gaddy’s

The U-Haul trailers at the entrance to Gaddy’s are hard to miss.  We brought in U-Haul at the first of the year not only to provide an additional service to our existing customers but also to introduce our store to new families as they move into the Pflugerville area.  Learning a new system has been a bit challenging, but after a couple of months, we are starting to get the hang of it.  Here’s a bit of what we have learned that might help you next time you are renting a U-Haul.

mark Uhaul.jpg
Mark trying to help a U-Haul customer on one line while calling U-Haul traffic on the other line.

 

Rentals are classified into two groups:  in-town and one-way.   If you are renting ‘in-town’ you are picking up and dropping off at the same location.  If you are renting ‘one-way’ you are picking up at one location and dropping off an another location.  They way U-Haul charges for the rental differs depending on whether you are an in-town or one-way rental.  U-Haul also charges differently for vehicles that record mileage (trucks and vans) than it does for trailers.

For example, if you rent a moving van from Gaddy’s and return it to Gaddy’s you will pay a flat, in-town, rate for the day, plus a rate for each mile you put on the vehicle.  Gas-consuming vehicles also have a nominal environmental fee.  If you want insurance, which is recommended but optional, there will be an additional charge.  And tax, of course, is charged on all U-Haul rentals.  If you rent a moving van from Gaddy’s and return it to a different location, you will pay a similar flat rate plus mileage.

Trailers are a little different.  If you rent an in-town trailer, then it is simply a flat fee per day, plus insurance (if wanted) and tax.  If you rent a one-way trailer, U-Haul calculates an estimated distance between the pick up and drop off point and charges a fee based on that distance and allows for a certain amount of days for the rental.  If the trailer is returned in less time than allowed, the fee remains the same because it was calculated on the distance traveled.

Here are some other things good to know about the U-Haul rental process:

-Bring your driver’s license and a credit card.  If the person driving the vehicle is not the person renting the vehicle, bring the driver’s driving license too.

-You can make save a bunch of time by making your reservation online and entering as much information as you can about the rental yourself.  This doesn’t save all of the paperwork at the rental facility but it does help.

-If you think you might save some money by not buying the U-Haul insurance, call your insurance company and make sure your policy covers the U-Haul while you have it.  Many insurance policies do not.

-If you are renting a trailer, bring in the license plate number of the vehicle you’re towing the trailer with, also the hitch and ball rating as well as the make, model and year of the vehicle.

-Think about the store hours of the U-Haul drop off location when planning your rental.  Not all U-Haul locations have 24-hour drop off.  We don’t, though there are several other U-Haul dealers in town who will be happy to help you if you need to drop off after hours.

-You may drop off a U-Haul at a location other than that shown on your contract, however there may be an additional fee for dropping it off at the wrong location.  You may want to call ahead just to make sure you won’t be assessed an additional fee.

 

 

 

 

DIY Chick Brooder

It starts to feel like spring really is just around the corner when the young chicks arrive at our store.  The first batch of chicks came in the mail this Thursday.  We have Barred Rocks, Golden Sex Links and Black Australorps.  (All the Ameraucanas already found new homes.)  Plus we expect new chick deliveries every two weeks until April.

Mark, Zaki and I set up a little display of a small chick brooder you could make at home.  We even made a short video of the process.

If you’re interested in learning more about raising chicks, or if you already have a backyard flock and want to talk chickens with an expert, you’re invited to our first ever Chick Day on Saturday March 3rd.  Rob Cunningham from Coyote Creek Organic Farm will be here from 1-3pm to talk chickens.  He’s even going to give away some door prizes.  The only cost for this event is we’re asking you to bring your own chair.  We’ve got plenty of space in the back, just not plenty of seating.

Seed Potatoes are In Stock

Now that we’ve warmed up from last week’s ice-pocalypse, I’m ready to get out in the garden.  First on my list will be getting my potatoes ready to plant.  If you’ve never planted spuds before, now’s the year.  They’re easy to plant and so much fun to harvest.  Here’s a link to last year’s article on how to get potatoes ready for planting.  https://gaddys.com/2017/01/13/seed-potatoes/

And here’s a picture of our potatoes sitting next to our new purple check-out station.

potato counter

Gaddy’s Partners with Johnson’s Backyard Garden

Looking for a way to keep your resolutions?  Try signing up for a CSA from Johnson’s Backyard Garden.  You can pickup your share every Wednesday straight from Gaddy’s! 

Johnson’s Backyard Garden (JBG) is an organic farm that has grown from a family project in an AJohnson's Backyard Gardenustin backyard to a bona fide farm large enough to provide fresh produce to Texans from Dallas to Houston to San Antonio and areas in between–including Pflugerville!  Mark and I first became enamored of Johnson’s Backyard Garden when we visited their booth at the Texas Farmer’s Market last spring.  The JBG booth was so packed with people and produce, we had to wait in line to get inside.  It was worth it!  Although we had a garden, JBG had grown lots of interesting veggies that we hadn’t even thought of growing ourselves.

If you’ve ever thought of signing up for a CSA, now is the time to do it.  Joining in January helps the CSA plan for and pay for spring.  Plus you get to enjoy some great produce.  And if that’s not enough, JBG is extending a great offer to first-time or renewing members.  Add “getcookin1” at checkout and receive one CSA share free with your subscription.  To sign up click here.

Mark and I are still planting our market garden in the back lot of the store, but this year we are being realistic about the amount of time we have to work in the garden.  2018 is going to be a year of changes for us.  We are in the process of adding to our sales floor and incorporating new shelving into the store that we purchased from Zinger Hardware (so sad to see them go).  This leaves us even less time for gardening than we had last year, so I’m doubly excited to partner with JBG because I want to keep fresh, organic produce a part of our store’s mission.  And, if you’d like to volunteer out in the garden please email me at kimgaddy@gaddys.com.  I’ll be more than happy for any extra hands.

Christmas Tree Care

One of my favorite chores at the store this time of year is to water the Christmas trees.  At least twice a day we walk through the tree area and spray the foliage of the Fraser Firs to keep them nice and fresh and hydrated.  We also keep them under the shade cloth to protect them from the sun.

Once you get a cut Christmas tree home, here are a few tips on how to keep it fresh throughout the holiday season.

  1. When we sell a tree we will cut the base of the tree off, perpendicular to the trunk, before it is taken home.  Keep this cut as it is.  Don’t ‘chisel down’ the tree to make it fit your stand.  Don’t drill a hole into the base of the tree.  And don’t take off bark to make it fit the stand.  The tree will drink in water best from the outermost layers of wood so they are important to leave as is.
  2. Keep your tree in a type of tree-stand that holds water.  Lots of water.  Stands should be large enough to hold about 1 quart of water for each inch of tree trunk diameter.
  3. Check the water at least once a day.  Make sure the water level is high enough that the bottom of the tree is covered.
  4. Keep your tree far from sources of heat like heat system vents, fireplaces, or a sunny window.  Use low-heat lighting like mini lights or LED lights.

Our trees look especially good this year.  We have Fraser Firs in a 6-7ft size ($49.99) and a 7-8ft size ($74.99).  Please let us know if you have any questions.  512-251-4428

Chicken Poop for Sale at Gaddy’s

Mark hasn’t yet tired of asking customers if they want to add some chicken poop to their feed order.  Mark’s not going crazy, he’s just having fun with our new line of lip balm callecpoop2d “chicken poop.”  And no need to worry, there’s no actual chicken poop in this lip balm.  Jamie, who makes the stuff, says one time she complained to her grandfather that she had chapped lips.  Her grandfather told her to put some chicken poop on them.  That way she’d stop liking her lips.

Jamie’s company also makes a darn good solid hand salve and an all natural deodorant which they call a “defunkifier.”  Isn’t the packaging wonderful?

defunkifier

Pet Pictures with Santa

Please save the date.  Santa & Mrs. Claus are headed to Gaddy’s on Saturday, November 25th from 1-3pm.  I know this is a busy weekend, but we hope you’ll stop by with your pets (or children) and take a quick picture with Santa.  There’s no charge for taking pictures.  Bring your own camera and we’ll provide the rest.   And if you want us to help take some pics we’ll be glad to assist.  (BTW . . . Santa Ron is well worth the trip.  See photo below.)

santa ron

What’s New for Fall

good veg picI’m hopeful the crisp cool mornings we’ve been waking up to lately mean Fall really is here and we can pack up our shorts for the season.  My tomatoes are setting fruit and the cool-season greens Wade and I planted are experiencing a growth spurt.  While I’m not going to be able to fill the vegetable display like I was in the Spring, I’m starting to bring in a nice bit of produce after a long hot dry spell.

The great pumpkin experiment was a dud.  It turns out you can’t successfully grow pumpkins in the middle of summer in Texas.  Wade and Kaleb and I fussed over rows and rows of pumpkin plants, watered, weeded, and fought bugs for a couple of hard months, all for some pretty puny results.  We’re enjoying the Fall atmosphere our meager group of pumpkins are providing us though, and consider the experience a lesson learned.

pumpkin.jpg

Along with the cooler weather, I’m looking forward to some Halloween fun.  Mark and I and our daughter, Becky signed up to participate in the Food Drive on Main St.  We’ve got our dog-themed booth decoration all ready to go and are just waiting for Tuesday evening to give out some candy.  Right now I’ve got the big cardboard dog decoration perched on top of the display of the new line of dog food we brought in called Zignature.  It is a fabulous limited-ingredient dog food boasting no grain, no potatoes and no corn.   Next week we should also be getting Taste of the Wild’s new limited-ingredient food.zignature in store display.jpg